VOLUNTEERS working on a heritage railway have taken delivery of an early Christmas present.

Wood currently being stripped out of the former science labs in Richmond’s Lower School has been donated to the Wensleydale Railway for restoration work on old carriages and buildings.

Contractors are currently clearing the old school buildings to create new state-of-the-art office accommodation for Richmondshire District Council.

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But the teak used on the work benches and cupboards is being given a new lease of life instead of simply being consigned to the rubbish heap.

“Teak is invaluable for restoration purposes – and in a distressed state like that at the school is very hard to get hold of,” said railway volunteer Paul Warren.

“We are very grateful to the district council for donating this to us. We have six solid wood table tops and counters to add to our stores – some of which is likely to get used in the restoration of Scruton station.”

He added: “Receiving donations of this kind make our job of authentically restoring carriages and buildings so much easier – and means our valuable resources can be diverted where they are most needed.”

Council leader John Blackie said: “This takes re-cycling at Richmondshire District Council to new heights.

“We are glad that the teak can have a fresh use, and delighted it will help an important heritage railway attraction that allows tourists to travel through wonderful scenery whilst delivering them right into the heart of the district.”